In honor of Veterans Day on Monday, more than 50 volunteers came together with support from the Miami Heat and other organizations to renovate Opa-locka's veterans' community center.
The center, a 60-year-old-building that helps veterans with PTSD counseling, healthcare or finding jobs, serves as a place where veterans from the community can gather and connect with each other.
Now, it has new walls, floors and ceilings. It will open Friday for the tens of thousands of veterans living in Miami-Dade County.
"[It's] the coming to life of a building that was all but desolate," said Kenneth Ottley, a veteran who worked with a number of organizations, including the Miami Heat, to make the renovation possible.
“We put on that shine face and that smile and we need a place like this to come to so we can talk amongst ourselves and let that out because if we don’t then we ourselves are damaged," he said. “My era my generation will be able to mentor will be able to mentor the youngsters coming up and that’s what this will mean. Because without this, where are they going to go?”
Former Miami Heat player Alonzo Mourning was also helping out at the center, and he told NBC 6 he was proud to be a part of the project.
“We show up," Mourning said. "It’s a trickle down effect and that’s why our staff are here that’s why we are here to represent as the Miami Heat and show our support for our veterans.”